Perhaps no pending case confronts the complexity of international law and its regulatory claims across boundaries as the Chevron/Ecuador dispute filed regarding alleged environmental damage in the Amazon. That case and related proceedings raise many of the most pressing issues important to international law scholars and practitioners, such as the efficacy of international dispute resolution, the role of international arbitration, and the role of transnational law in domestic courts. This panel will use the Chevron/Ecuador case as a starting point for discussing the relationship between public and private international law and the use of that law to regulate transnational conduct. Which problems is international law particularly well-suited to solve? Which seem to defy its regulation? What tools does international law have to manage this complexity? Where are best practices emerging? What has our profession learned in the last half-century? Is law, with its emphasis on rules and stability, conceptually and functionally capable of responding to the challenges of complexity? If not, how should law react? What do experts from outside the legal profession, from technology, finance, counterinsurgency, climate science, and risk, believe law can add? During the 2012 ASIL Annual Meeting we will address these questions and discuss how international law responds to complexity."
Daniel M. Bodansky is a preeminent authority on global climate change whose teaching and research focus on international environmental law and public international law. He teaches courses in international law and sustainability and is a key player in the College of Law's new Program on Law and Sustainability.
Prior to his arrival at the College of Law in 2010, Professor Bodansky was the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Emily and Ernest Woodruff Chair in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law. He has served as the climate change coordinator and attorney-advisor at the U.S. Department of State, in addition to consulting for the United Nations in the areas of climate change and tobacco control. Since 2001, Professor Bodansky has been a consultant and senior advisor on the "Beyond Kyoto" and "Pocantico Dialogue" projects at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. He serves on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, is the U.S.-nominated arbitrator under the Antarctic Environmental Protocol, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Society of International Law. Awards include an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council of Foreign Relations, a Pew Faculty Fellowship in International Affairs, and a Jean Monnet Fellowship from the European University Institute.
Professor Bodansky's scholarship includes three books and dozens of articles and book chapters on international law, international environmental law and climate change policy.
Judith Kimerling is a Professor at The City University of New York (CUNY) Queens College. After graduating from University of Michigan and Yale Law School, she worked for seven years as an environmental litigator, including five years as an Assistant Attorney General for New York State, where she worked on the Love Canal litigation and other hazardous waste cleanup litigation and negotiations. In 1989, she moved to Ecuador and worked with indigenous organizations in the Amazon Rainforest to document the environmental and social impacts of oil development there. Her findings and photographs first placed concerns about the impact of oil production on indigenous peoples and the environment in tropical forests on the international environmental and human rights policy agendas. Her book Amazon Crude was called "the Silent Spring of Ecuador" by The New York Times. In the U.S., it prompted a prominent class action lawsuit, Aguinda v. Texaco, Inc.
Lucinda A. Low
Lucinda A. Low is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where she is a member of the International Department, heads the firm's FCPA practice, and serves on the firm's Executive Committee. She has a practice focusing on US and international anti-corruption laws, advising clients on matters ranging from preventive work to representation in internal investigations and enforcement matters worldwide. She is a widely recognized authority in the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related international conventions from the OECD, OAS, United Nations, and European Union.
Professor Steinhardt specializes in international law, human rights, conflicts of laws, international civil litigation, and international business transactions. He is co-director of the Oxford-GW Program in International Human Rights Law at New College, Oxford. His current research and advocacy concern the human rights obligations of multi-national corporations. He now serves as the only U.S. citizen on the Expert Legal Panel on that subject under the auspices of the International Commission of Jurists and has served as an expert witness in several federal cases testing the liability of corporations for aiding and abetting human rights violations by governments.
Professor Steinhardt also serves on the Board of Editors of the Oxford University press project on international law in domestic courts. He has written books and articles on the application of international law in U.S. courts, statutory construction, international trade law, jurisprudence, and human rights. Having served on the Harvard International Law Journal and won the Jessup Moot Court Competition at Harvard Law School, Professor Steinhardt practiced law for five years in Washington, D.C., specializing in federal litigation, administrative law, and trade. He has served as legal counsel to several foreign governments in both commercial and intergovernmental matters, including border disputes and economic relations, and pioneered the application of international human rights law in U.S. courts. He served as counsel to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Human Rights Law Group, as well as to individuals alleging violations of international human rights law. He also has served as chairman of the board of the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco, an anti-impunity organization established by Amnesty International in 1998.
Professor Whytock is an acting professor of law (tenure track) and political science at the University of California, Irvine, and a faculty affiliate of the UCI Center in Law, Society and Culture and the John & Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business and Law. He has taught courses on international law, international relations, foreign relations law, civil procedure, and business associations. His research focuses on transnational litigation, conflict of laws, international law, and the role of domestic law and domestic courts in global governance. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in law journals including Columbia Law Review, Cornell Law Review and New York University Law Review, and peer-reviewed social science journals including International Security.
Professor Whytock previously taught at the University of Utah College of Law and practiced law as an associate at O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Duke University; his J.D. and M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law; and his B.A. in political science from UCLA.
Judith Kimerling, Professor at the City University of New York, argues that the 18 year unresolved Chevron vs. Ecuador case has been further mired in legal dispute. Labyrinthine legal challenges have prevented restitution to the indigenous people affected.
Body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized as international actors. The term was coined by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Important elements of international law include sovereignty, recognition (which allows a country to honour the claims of another), consent (which allows for modifications in international agreements to fit the customs of a country), freedom of the high seas, self-defense (which ensures that measures may be taken against illegal acts committed against a sovereign country), freedom of commerce, and protection of nationals abroad. International courts, such as the International Court of Justice, resolve disputes on these and other matters, including war crimes. See alsoasylum; immunity.